NoViolet Bulawayo, Writivism Board Member and Saaleha Idrees Bamjee, after the announcement of the 2014 short story prize winner
Bwesigye, CACE Co-Founder with Zukiswa Wanner, Writivism Board Member
Jennifer Makumbi reads from the book at its launch.
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What I loved about their festival last year was their dedication to nurturing the next generation of writers. I appreciated that for a change, I was at a festival where I was not there to primarily talk about myself or my book and be taken pictures of, but to work, hold hands, and be part of a nurturing and road-building effort.
What I love about Writivism is the fact that that you are getting short stories maybe from ... it's just not a project that someone submits say like with the other short story competitions where people just submit short stories and that is the end. The way it actually works is that you have people that submit flash fiction and then it is judged as flash fiction and then they do a workshop with an already established writer and after the workshop, they are paired up with a mentor and the short story is improved up until the judging period. And then there is a long list and a shortlist from the different regions on the continent. And so it's people with a passion for writing but who are being developed every step of the way in the year or six months they are in the programme and I think that is what sets it apart
These sort of activities are a sort of activism against indifferent teachers, and lack of imagination, and moreover, born of a desperate need for creativity even in the most "practical" of jobs.
My definition of Art has always been that which it is its sole objective to serve Society. Anything more; anything less; is a shameless imitation of the whole concept. Art is not Art because some conceited individuals and Newspapermen have superficially termed it so. Rather, Art is Art because it must religiously obey and unquestionably serve society. Society is thus its master; its guarantor; its benefactor; the foundation of its existence; and the very essence of its identity! Without Society, Art cannot exist. Yet Society can exist without Art as is the case where Art fails to live up to the collective needs of society, but, rather painfully, exalts the petty and selfish whims of individuals. For as long as Art remains its Master's slave, it should in turn be obeyed, loved, lived or even venerated to the point of worship! However, where it wavers or promises to waver, in what is its rightful pursuit, then it must be overthrown, if possible, very, very violently.